The Bugaboo Ant was the first travel stroller we owned, and we still use it to date. It’s in the trunk of our SUV all the time, we use it at the park, store, festivals, etc. We’ve also flown with the Bugaboo Ant several times. On our yearly month-long trips to Playa del Carmen, Mexico it’s the stroller we bring. We’ve really put it to the test, this is an honest Bugaboo Ant review!
Bugaboo is a major player in the international world of strollers. So when they launched the Bugaboo Ant, their compact travel stroller, they once again delivered a product that is sleek, stylish and gives parents what they need.
They’ve really come through with great design features you’re not going to find with other travel strollers. Key things like the reversible seat, variable handle height, and the way it can be wheeled around like a compact carry-on luggage piece make the Ant stand out among the rest.
**Update 2023 – We no longer use our Bugaboo Ant. We have replaced it with newer, updated travel strollers. We currently LOVE our Joolz Aer, which is our main travel stroller. If we travel with two single strollers, we bring our Joolz Aer and our Babyzen Yoyo (I don’t mind this one, it just isn’t my favorite). If we bring a double stroller, we bring our Zoe Twin+; it is the best travel double stroller on the market now.
Let’s start off this Bugaboo Ant review with the pros and cons. There are some cons. Just like everything else in the world, nothing is perfect.
- Folds up small and compact to fit in the overhead bin (yes, it really fits – note on regional jets it will not fit)
- It can be wheeled like a small piece of luggage when folded
- Seat configuration: switches from forward to rear-facing
- Compatible with attachments (purchased separately- car seat attachment for select models or ride-along boards for older siblings)
- Adjustable handle height for parents of various heights (I am5’10 and Adan is 6’5 for reference)
- Grows with your child from newborn to 5 years old (up to 22kg/50lbs)
We started using the Ant with Atlas when he was 3 months old for our first international trip with him. We had him rear-facing then, and now at 2 years old, he is world-facing, and we still think the Ant is one of the best traveler strollers on the market.
It’s a big pro. The Ant holds up to 50 lbs, a lot of other travel strollers on the market max out at 40-45 lbs.
- Slightly heavier than other travel strollers
- Cost – at the higher end of the price range and add-ons make it pricey
- The folding process is a bit complicated and cannot be done with just one hand
- No cup holder, but one can be added
- Perfect for Urban Living and Travel
Even with the cons, the Bugaboo Ant is an ideal stroller for urban families and those who travel.
City living means constantly dealing with crowded places. Navigating the realities of narrow grocery aisles, busy sidewalks or the subway, and minimal storage space in small apartments means the smaller the stroller, the better.
Bugaboo’s Ant is compact and effective for all of these situations. When open, the narrow chassis means the width of the stroller is smaller than average, so you can maneuver tight spaces. Folded, it collapses on itself to take up little space. It even stands upright to reduce the hassle of having to only lay on its side. At moments when the elevator is not an option, the lightweight nature of the Ant makes it easy to carry up and down the stairs.
Traveling with your little one is easier with the Ant. Its smooth ride keeps the whole family calm when moving through the terminals. When it’s time to board, fold the stroller down at the end of the gateway and then roll it like a small trolley down the plane’s aisle.
Arriving at your seat, just collapse the handle and stow it away. Its compact fold is specifically designed to fit in the overhead bin of airplanes. There’s no need to check it in, which is a lifesaver when you arrive at your destination with a sleeping or (worse) cranky child. Trust us on this one!
The Bugaboo Ant is built for travel, but—don’t be mistaken—it’s not a travel system. A traditional travel system allows for an infant car seat to be used in a car (using a base), then transferred to a stroller with a built-in attachment for the car seat. Travel systems are built for families to use regularly with their own cars.
What ages can use the Bugaboo Ant?
The Bugaboo Ant, incredibly, can be used from birth until about five years old. When strolling the newest member of your family, there is no need to add anything to the Ant (unlike other compact strollers). The competition typically has a minimum age of three or six months or requires add-ons, which can be expensive.
The Ant’s inward-facing seat reclines until nearly flat and the five-point harness makes it perfectly supportive for a newborn. If you’d rather your baby was in an infant car seat, Bugaboo’s Ant Adapter for car seats (costs just under $50) is compatible with a number of popular European car seats, like Bugaboo Turtle One by Nuna, Cybex Aton 2, and Nuna Pipa Lite.
Just make sure to check which ones work together before buying. Another option is to add the Bugaboo Cocoon Lite (priced at about $100) that gives newborns a snug and cozy ride.
Children can continue to ride in the Ant until they are 50lbs or 22kg (seated facing inward or out). This is middle of the road compared to other compact strollers: both the UppaBaby Minu and Summer Infant 3D Lite can support up to 50lbs, while the BabyZen Yoyo+ only is lower at only 40lbs, and the GB Pockit can hold up to 55lbs.
Although the Ant can support a child of this weight, keep in mind that it’s a compact stroller, so the narrow frame and seat may be a bit snug for riders as they grow.
- 15.8 lbs
- Unfolded: 38.19″ L x 16.06″ W x 40.16″ H
- Folded: 21.6″ L x 14.1″ W x 9.1″ H
As a compact stroller, its appeal is the small yet sturdy frame. Folded, it takes up very little space: 21.6″ L x 14.1″ W x 9.1″ H, making it one of the smallest folded strollers on the market.
What does the Bugaboo Ant Cost?
Bugaboo is a high-end stroller brand that provides excellent quality. The Ant is no exception. Its initial price tag of $499 is on par with its rivals, like the Yoyo+. But unlike others, the Ant can be used for newborns without add-ons. This is part of the reason we initially chose the Ant. We wanted a stroller to use when Atlas was a newborn and would grow with him.
And, if you choose to add the Cocoon, the cost is significantly lower than the newborn pack needed for the Yoyo+.
Bugaboo Ant Seat Configurations
Unique to the Ant, the seat can be facing forward or to the rear. Facing the seat inward lets you keep an eye on your child at all times, but when your little one is ready to greet the world, simply switch the seat around.
Okay, it’s not as simple as switching a dial, but with a few pushes here, and some clicks there, you’ll be set. (And let’s be honest, when it comes to baby strollers, I’d rather have a few clicks to make sure my baby is safe rather than a haphazard swivel chair.)
The Ant has a number of preset recline positions. In rear-facing mode, the three positions allow your child to sit up straight, slightly reclined, and nearly flat, which comes in handy during a naptime stroll. Many ask, can the Bugaboo Ant lie Flat? It can basically lie flat. Your child will have no issue sleeping in the Bugaboo Ant.
Facing forward, the seat can be upright or slightly reclined. If you’re worried about your little one dozing off when out and about, it’s best to begin the walk facing inwards so you have the option to recline all the way.
The height of the Ant’s seatback is adjustable, so it will grow with your child.
How to Fold the Bugaboo Ant
The fold is a great asset to the Bugaboo Ant, but it can also be its greatest frustration. There are a number of steps (about six) to complete in order to achieve its small compact fold. I am guilty of cursing at the stroller the first few times I folded it. This video helps show how to fold it; I must have watched this 20x…
Each step must be done in the correct order for the magic to happen (this is where I screwed up). It’s the same with the unfolding method which requires a number of steps before you’re ready to roll. It’s best to watch the instructional video a few times to get it right. I was always forgetting to fold the canopy inwards and then pushing the backrest down.
But don’t worry, with regular use. It becomes second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be folding and unfolding in a matter of seconds.
A downside to the fold is that the process can’t be done one-handed (to fold or unfold). So, make sure your child can stay somewhere safely while you take care of the stroller.
Two positive aspects of the Ant’s fold is that once collapsed, it stands on its own and can be wheeled like luggage. Items in the storage basket are also accessible when folded, which can be a lifesaver.
Bugaboo Ant Storage
The Ant boasts an incredible yet simple feature: the storage compartment is accessible when it’s folded. You can keep items in the storage while the stroller is folder and still access them. Granted, you can’t have it jam-packed full. We can, however, fit Adam’s entire camera bag in the Bugaboo Ant storage!
So when your child is having a meltdown, and you realize that you threw their favorite toy into the storage basket for safekeeping, you can swiftly retrieve it without unfolding the entire stroller. (Phew. Crisis averted.)
This is especially handy when you’ve already packed the stroller into the plane’s overhead compartment or in the trunk of your car.
The storage is divided into two sections: the under-seat and the rear luggage basket. This allows you to keep some items close to hand for convenience. The combined storage area can hold up to 17.6lbs (8kg).
One thing to note is that when the seat is facing inwards, it’s difficult to access the rear luggage basket because it’s blocked by the seat.
The Ride: Wheels and Frame System
The Ant is small but mighty. Its four-wheel advanced suspension system provides an easy push and a smooth ride. The wheels of the Ant are relatively small, measuring five inches in the front and six inches in the rear, but this is quite standard for compact strollers (the BabyZen’s Yoyo wheels are all 5.3 inches).
The small size and all-wheel suspension make the Ant great for navigating bumps in the street or sidewalk. But it’s not quite ideal for off-roading, so it’s best to steer clear of the trails and rugged terrain. We have had no issue with it on cobblestone streets.
The aluminum frame makes it sturdy and lightweight (only 15.8 lbs). Compared to others, the Ant is not the lightest stroller on the market (the GB pockit is only 10.5 lbs), but Bugaboo’s solid structure provides stability at the cost of being slightly heavier.
The Ant is Bugaboo’s compact travel stroller, so the chassis is designed to be narrow enough to fit into tight and crowded spaces, like the subway or an elevator. When folded, it’s perfect for those with small storage options, like the trunk of a compact car, urban apartment, or the overhead bin when traveling by air.
While having a narrow frame is a great space saver, it also means the seat is narrow. So, it does not give much room for little riders to move from side to side. It may even be a bit too snug as they get older. We have no problem with Atlas right now at two years old and 30 lbs.
Geniously, the handle on the Ant has a changeable height. This is a great feature for families that have parents and caretakers of various heights. Adjustable at either 95 cm (37.5 inches) or 104 cm (41 inches), this allows the ride to be more comfortable for those of us doing the pushing. Adam and I are tall people, Adam is 6’5, and I am 5’10, and we both feel pushing the stroller is
It also comes in handy when using the attached Comfort Wheeled Board – just increase the handle height so your big kid can have more headroom to ride along.
Can Bugaboo Ant go on the Plane?
The Bugaboo Ant fits in the overhead bins, trust us we have done this. Do note that some regional jets it will not fit, but neither will your rolling carry on suitcase…We have had no issues bring in the Bugaboo Ant on a plane. Sometimes you just have to tell the gate agent that it fits in the overhead bin and then they are fine with it.
Accessories for the Bugaboo Ant
In true Bugaboo style, the Ant has a sleek modern look. However, for those of us who desire a more personalized ride, Bugaboo sells different accessories to give you the additional comforts you want.
My #1 must-have accessory is a cupholder, I have this cheap one on Amazon. The one I have also has a cell phone holder attached to the cup holder, which is really convenient. With items, such as a cup holder or organizer that attach directly to the handle, you’ll have the things a parent on-the-go needs right at your fingertips.
As your family grows, Bugaboo’s Comfort Wheeled Board ($125) can be attached seamlessly so your little one can choose to ride like a big kid or take it easy in the seat. This feature is ideal for families with more than one baby on board. We have the wheeled board but haven’t used it yet, and Atlas is too little yet.
In colder climates, consider Bugaboo’s Cocoon Light for newborns up to six months or the Ant Footmuff to keep older riders cozy and warm. Each is priced at around $100.
For easy transitions from the car to the stroller, consider the Ant’s Adaptor for car seats. Marked at about $50 it will provide a simple click system to move the baby. This helps to reduce the hassle of taking the baby out of the car seat and putting them in the stroller or vice versa.
More importantly, it may just keep a sleeping baby asleep, which is priceless. The major thing to keep in mind is that it’s compatible with only a few car seat models, including Bugaboo Turtle One by Nuna, Cybex Aton 2, Cybex Aton Q, Cybex Cloud Q, and Nuna Pipa Lite.
Want colors that suit your style? Bugaboo provides a few different color options for the Ant’s sun canopy ($65-75), wheel caps ($17), and seat fabric ($55-65).
Compared to the competition, the Bugaboo Ant holds its own amongst other compact travel strollers. It’s not the cheapest (like the Summer Infant 3D Lite, which is under $100), but it’s definitely not the most expensive either. We also own the Doona, which we couldn’t live without. The Doona is good for newborns to about 18 months (depends on height/weight), read our detailed Doona car seat stroller review.
It has the longest shelf life, as it can be used from birth to 50lbs without any add-ons, unlike its rivals. It’s lightweight (at only 15.8lbs) but there are several other models that are lighter (but not by too much), including the BabyZen Yoyo, UppaBaby Minu, and the Summer Infant 3D Lite. It folds into a compact, squat form that is similar in size to the BabyZen Yoyo+.
What sets the Ant apart from the rest? The seat can be inward or outward-facing. It can be used at birth without add-ons. It can be wheeled around like a small suitcase when folded. The handle height is adjustable. If any of these features speak to you, then you’ve probably just found your next compact travel stroller.
Do you own an Ant? We’d love to hear your Bugaboo Ant review down in the comments. What do you love and hate about it?
Other Must Have Travel Products
We have several other reviews on our favorite travel products after putting them to the true test…TRAVELING with them. Here are a few other articles to check out:
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- Joolz Aer – Best Travel Stroller for one child
- SlumberPod – Blackout cover for pack’ N plays so you can have the lights on in the hotel room!
- Zoe Twin Double Stroller – The best travel double stroller
- Elvie Stride – Wearable hands-free breast pump
- Best Wagon Strollers
- Best Strollers for Disney
- How to get a free breast pump through insurance
- Baby registry must-haves
- Willow Go – Wearable hands-free pump with no cords
- Best Bamboo Brands – Yes, the clothing is worth every penny